The hostage taking of four peace activists in Iraq a few days ago, on November 30, 2005, is strikingly similar to what happened to Italian left-wing reporter Giuliana Sgrena earlier this year on February 2, 2005. The Jawa Report has dug up a little dirt on the hostage taking and where it occurred, which happens to be in exactly the same spot Sgrena was taken hostage. Even the manner of the hostage taking was the same.
This leads to speculation that it is the same terrorist group that took Sgrena hostage. Sgrena was released by the group and then subsequently was shot upon approaching a US checkpoint at high speed. A negotiator in the car was killed and Sgrena later claimed the shooting was on purpose.
The current hostages are American Tom Fox, 54; Canadian James Loney, 41; Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32; Briton Norman Kember, 74.
Four Christian peace activists held hostage in Iraq were kidnapped at the same place where an Italian journalist was abducted, raising the possibility one group carried out both attacks, police said Thursday.
The style of the abduction also was similar: The activists were seized Saturday in the vicinity of a mosque near Baghdad University. A car blocked their car, gunmen got out, threw the driver and translator out and drove away with the four captives, security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.
There were mass demonstrations in Italy during Sgrena's hostage taking to pull troops out of Iraq. The Jawa Report speculates that this hostage taking may be for the same purposes and that the hostages may not actually be at risk.
Why would terrorists do this? Well, look what happened during the Giuliana Sgrena crisis. Sgrena, who's sympathies were with the terrorists anyway, was more than happy to cry on cue and demand that Italy withdraw immediately from Iraq. The reaction from the Italian Left was overwhelming and the pressure mounted on the Burlesconi government to leave. Terrorists are not stupid. They choose tactics that they believe work. If it seemed to work once.....
I tend to agree with the above, but I'm still worried about the hostages.
The Jawa Report has also uncovered that Tom Fox, the American hostage, has a blog called Waiting In The Light. It was last updated on November 8, 2005. Rusty has a lotto say on his writings and that at one point Fox says that he is "willing to die rather than do violence to others".
Me personally, I find that a sheep's way of thinking. If you are just going to lie there and die while some brutal guy pushes you around I just don't know what to say. If you have a machine gun and someone is threatening to slice your throat just because they have some belief that you shouldn't exist because of your religion, then I say shoot him.
The sad thing about all of this is that if these four re released we'll surely hear speeches from all four of them on how evil America and the coalition is and blah blah blah.
Meanwhile the Association of Muslim Scholars called for the hostages release.
On Wednesday, an influential Baghdad-based Sunni Arab group, the Association of Muslim Scholars, called on the insurgent group to release the captives as a humanitarian gesture. The group, which is believed to have some ties to Iraq's Sunni-led, anti-coalition insurgency, says the hostages have a good record for helping those in need.